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FTC sues chip-king Intel for 'anti-competitive tactics'

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Intel, saying the chip-making king has "illegally used its dominant market position for a decade to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly."

Quoting from the release on the FTC Web site, which hit moments ago: "In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Intel has waged a systematic campaign to shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace. In the process, Intel deprived consumers of choice and innovation in the microchips that comprise the computers’ central processing unit, or CPU."

You can read the entire release by clicking here.

This is big, big news and a clear sign of the FTC's new muscularity in taking on corporate giants.

From the FTC release:

"The FTC’s administrative complaint charges that Intel carried out its anticompetitive campaign using threats and rewards aimed at the world’s largest computer manufacturers, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM, to coerce them not to buy rival computer CPU chips. Intel also used this practice, known as exclusive or restrictive dealing, to prevent computer makers from marketing any machines with non-Intel computer chips.

In addition, allegedly, Intel secretly redesigned key software, known as a compiler, in a way that deliberately stunted the performance of competitors’ CPU chips. Intel told its customers and the public that software performed better on Intel CPUs than on competitors’ CPUs, but the company deceived them by failing to disclose that these differences were due largely or entirely to Intel’s compiler design."

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  December 16, 2009; 9:09 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: FTC, Intel  
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